The winning hen Lieke NL10-1089919 was basketed on Saturday 26 July at 1 o’clock in the afternoon, and it arrived back home at 12:36 the following afternoon. The pigeons were released with a slight north wind and a temperature of 26 degrees. The winning hen completed 1,023km with a velocity of 1,041 m/min, which makes her one of just 13 pigeons that were able to achieve a velocity of 1,000 m/min or more in the sector.
Lieke was raced from the nest and she was raising a youngster. Últsje tries to keep in line with the natural rhythm of his pigeons as much as possible. For instance, he does not separate a dam from its youngster, and he prefers to basket partners together, to ensure that they can quickly return to their everyday rhythm immediately after the race. It sometimes occurs that a cock raises a youngster himself, while the hen is brooding eggs. “The idea is to apply the nest system as strictly as possible”, Últsje explains.
His pigeons had been especially prepared for Cahors. He did not take his racing birds away for training flights, but he was very meticulous in taking care of his pigeons. One important aspect in this loft is the weighing of the pigeons, which allows him to determine whether or not a pigeon is ready to be basketed. Every pigeon has a target weight, which is about 450 grams for a hen and 500 grams for a cock. Pigeons are weighed one by one using an 8 cm tube that is attached to the scale. The same method is used for scientific research.
Últsje starts to increase the amount of food in the nest boxes on Thursday. “A pigeon that gains enough weight in the lead up to a race, will be ready to be basketed”, Últsje explains. This approach illustrates his expertise and the dedication of the pigeon fanciers from The Netherlands.
The Jellema pigeon
Father and son Jellema have been among the best fanciers in the multiple day competition for several years now, and their signature Jellema racing bird has all the characteristics of a modern-day long distance pigeon. The Jellema pigeon can be described as a powerful but fairly small sized bird. Their persistence allows them to achieve high speeds for extended periods of time, and their impressive average speed is the result of a number of purposefully introduced bloodlines. A high speed is of great importance if you want to play a role in today’s multiple day pigeon races.
The winning pigeon originates from a number of well known bloodlines. You can find the pedigree of Lieke NL10-1089919 here.
The pedigree includes Saffier NL01-1110402 and several of her sisters, as well as the long distance pair NL97-2229689 (Bergerac doffer) x NL99-5974843 (Blauwe dame). She originates from several other great champions as well.
Last Tuesday, on 29 July, 38 pigeons were basketed in the club in Noordwolde for the last overnight long distance race from Bergerac.
However, the successful racing team of Jellema will be out of competition for a while, because all old racing birds of Últsje Jellema will be sold on PIPA later this year. Who knows, this might be an interesting opportunity for other fanciers to achieve their goals in the extreme long distance.